On Saturday, the 26th of March 2011, the NSW Labor party suffered one of its worst defeats in its 130 year history.
Intellectually exhausted after sixteen years in government, plagued by corruption, and mired in scandal and infighting, the people of NSW cast Labor into the political wilderness with a swing of over fifteen percent.
Outgoing Premier Kristina Keneally famously summed up the result by saying ‘The truth is the people of NSW did not leave us... we left them.’ In many respects, this was true. Aside from the obvious corruption and infighting, the NSW Labor party had lost policy focus after the electricity privatisation debate of 2008.
Beyond the electoral politics, in 2011 New South Wales faced an enormous number of policy challenges. An infrastructure backlog in railways, motorways, schools and stadiums. A housing affordability crisis causing record high prices and first home buyers locked out of the market. A corruption crisis that threatened to destroy confidence in their state and local political systems. A health funding crisis that threatened to swallow up the entire state budget. A jobs and services crisis in regional NSW. A school maintenance backlog and funding crisis, with shortages of school places in the inner city and too many demountable classrooms elsewhere.
It truly is remarkable how few of these issues have been fixed after six years of Coalition Government. What is needed is a new Government and a new vision for NSW.
In this pamphlet, the contributors set our their ideas and policies for the next State Labor Government. Contributors include Ryan Park, John Graham, Jodi McKay, Penny Sharpe, Daniel Mookhey, Tim Ayres and others.